Thursday, July 31, 2014

A long time gone....

"Yesterday, I was clever, and I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself" - Rumi

A friend posted the quote above on Facebook the other day, and I loved it.  Then another Facebook acquaintance (and the only blogger I read regularly) posted this post, that once again (as her blog regularly does) left me both speechless and in tears.  So, I'm sharing.  Because, seriously, I shouldn't be the only one crying.  :-)

This might turn into a rather long post, between trying to catch up on the rest of Alaska, and what I've been doing since I've been home.  Home?!?!?!  YES!!!! I'm finally home.....and oh, so happy to be here.  More on that later.  So, back to Alaska....

Of course, we got back from Denali late Friday night, so slept in a little the next morning at the little cabin off the river.  And then, we headed into town again.  There was a music festival going on called "Angry, Young, and Poor", at which we saw one of the ladies from our meeting the day after I flew in.  There were a lot of hippie looking people, a lot of young kids playing, and a lot of dogs running around.  It was a neat group, with a variety of bands.  There were even going to be some belly dancers, but I was going square dancing that night, so, off we went to find a shower.  Remember, the little cabin in the woods has no running water, and little electricity.  We ended up at an auto shop owned by her stepdad, which had a shower stall in it (thankfully inside of a locked bathroom).  It felt like I was getting "re-civilized" after having spent several days out in the woods.  We were both able to get cleaned up, and she dropped me off at Pioneer Park for square dancing, while my friend had planned to meet up with some people.  Square dancers are generally a friendly bunch, and this group was no different.  The only difference was, that instead of rounds between tips that night, they had a Jewish group there, who were going to teach us some dances.  That was a lot of fun!  And what a neat group of people.  I really enjoyed dancing with them.

Afterwards, my friend had gotten a text from a man she had done home care for previously, that he would be at the pow wow, and was she coming?  Pow wow?  Of course!  So, we headed on over.  Even though it was after 10pm, it was still bright out, and there were still plenty of people.  The drummers were drumming, the dancers were dancing, and we had to get up and join.  I love pow wows.  They make me happy.  :-)  We then headed out to Denny's for "dinner" (breakfast?).  It was the northernmost Denny's in the US, and it had dishes featuring reindeer meat.  Now, I'm all about trying new things, but I drew the line there.  So, we sat at Denny's for several hours, eating cheesy fries with ranch, drinking sodas, and playing cribbage.  I was first introduced to the game of Cribbage through this friend, and quickly came to love it.  Then, the next time I met up with my dad, it turns out, he not only played, but he was part of a club, had been on a cribbage cruise, and had finished well in several competitions.  It became a thing after that.  Whenever I visited, we would play cribbage for hours on end.

The next day (last full day in Alaska) passed in a kind of haze.  We went on walks through the forest around the cabin, through rose vines, next to beaver trails, past old cabins.  We took the boat further down the river, and noted the bear trails to the water.  Got stuck near said bear trail, and made a lot of noise until we were free again.  :-)  Ate yummy food, that had been kept cool in a "cold hole".  This was formed by digging a several foot deep hole in the ground past the freezing level, and then placing a container inside it to keep the water from getting to the food, which was then placed in a container and lowered into the hole.  It worked quite well.  I'm learning about how to survive without electricity.  At least in cold places.

And then it was time to come back to the lower 48.  Security was much tighter at Fairbanks than I would have expected.  Which makes this story even funnier.  I had gotten checked in, and to the security checkpoint.  There was a couple with a child in front of me, and they had been asked about liquids.  They gave the TSA people a bottle, and said that was all.  They scanned their bags, and mine, and I was gathering up my things, when one agent asked them if they were sure that there were not additional liquids in one of their bags.  They replied no, and were asked if it was okay to search the bag.  They were doing that when I walked off.  As I walked towards my gate, I realized I was thirsty, and was thinking it would be nice to have the soda that I had earlier.  Then, I started thinking, where was that soda?  I didn't remember leaving it in the truck.  And, I had planned to finish it before going through security, but hadn't, so.....I looked down.  Sure enough, it was still in the side pocket on my bag.  In plain view.  Apparently, the agent had been looking at the wrong bag!  One of the Jewish people who had been at the dance was also getting on the same flight I was, heading to visit family in Georgia.

After several uneventful flights, I made it back to TX, and back to my mom's house.  And that's all I can stay awake for tonight, so the rest will come later.

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